PSY 335 Exam 1 Study Guide
Exam #1 will include material from the textbook and/or discussed in class (e.g., slides, videos, discussion, inclass examples). It maps onto these major sections of your textbook:
Chapter 1: Reasons to Learn, Historical Foundations, and Enduring Themes Chapter 2: Prenatal Development
Chapter 3: Nature & Nurture, Brain Development
Chapter 5: Perception, Motor, Learning, & Cognition
Note: Students often ask me the best way to study for these exams. Memory research would say that you need a deep level of processing material in order for it to stick in your longterm memory. Simply rereading your notes or reading over a study guide your friend created are pretty shallow levels of processing. Instead, you need to engage with the material in a way that makes your process it. Some examples:
(1) Forcing yourself to paraphrase (put in your own words) when you transfer info over from class notes to your study guide
(2) Writing things out on flashcards (again, in your own words)
(3) Verbally explaining concepts out loud to someone else
(4) Trying to link new concepts to things you already know (previous knowledge from other classes, things you’ve witnessed kids doing)
(5) Google or YouTube concepts you are confused about – read about them, watch videos of them, etc.
The last thing I will add is that my exams often use many examples or application of concepts. This indicates learning much more than simply defining words does…Don't forget about the age old question of fina 3770 unt exam 1
∙ Why should we study child development?
o Know studies and results pertaining to turtle technique, childhood testimony, and Romanian orphans.
Raising Children help parents and teachers meet the challenges of raising children
∙ Turtle Technique When children felt themselves getting
angry that were taught to cope by retreating into their
“turtle shell” where they could think through the situation.
Choosing Social Policies – So we can make decisions about social policy that affect children
∙ So if a juror does not believe the child’s testimony, the
predator can go free and could possibly abuse more
o When asked leading questions the info becomes
more inaccurate because the children are being
o Younger kids are more likely to bend the truth
Understanding Human Nature – just trying to learn about human nature.
∙ When in our life does learning start
∙ Can upbringing have an affect on personality
∙ Children’s ability to overcome the effects of the
o Romanian orphans who were deprived of tolerable
living conditions as children had a difficult time If you want to learn more check out orgo 1 review
developing into adults
o Those kids were adopted by families after the war
and saw issues in their development
o It was found that depending on how long the child
was in the Roman homes, they would experience
different levels of development Don't forget about the age old question of which of the following refers to an enduring sexual attraction toward members of one's own sex, the other sex, or both sexes?
There for longer = more longterm issues
and vise versa.
∙ Historical foundations
o We talked about Plato, Aristotle, Locke, Rousseau, & Darwin. How did each of these people think about child development? Any key ideas or technique associated with each?
o Early philosophers’ Views
Both Plato and Aristotle believed that the long term welfare of society depended on children being raised properly because they’re going to be rebellious and unruly so society could blow up in
flames We also discuss several other topics like cal state fullerton art
∙ Be strict!
∙ Emphasized self control and discipline for the kids
∙ Children have innate knowledge (nature)
∙ Every kid is diff
∙ Fit environment to the needs of each child
∙ Knowledge comes from experience (nurture)
∙ Tabula rasa – kids are a blank slate which we draw on b. Don't forget about the age old question of dr megan wilson
and that is how they develop
∙ Discipline them in the beginning and as they develop take
several seats back.
∙ Discovery learning – we don’t learn best by others telling
you what to do/telling you about that topic… you learn by
doing! – give kids maximum freedom off the bat.
∙ They don’t need education until they’re 12 at the age of
reason where they can decide if they need the information If you want to learn more check out haversian and volkmann canals provide passageways for
Darwin’s Theory of Evolution
∙ Recorded Day to day operations of his son, (social,
∙ “A biographical sketch of an Infant” book
o Social Reform Movements – adverse effects of harsh environments We shouldn’t have child labor
Mandatory education – no mining in the fields bro
∙ How did Freud & Watson each see child development?
o Formal Study of Development
Freud: Internal drives
∙ Sex and aggression
o Bio and sexual drives are crucial influences on
o Development is determined by environmental
∙ Classical conditioning
Seven themes in child development
o Know and understand the gist of each theme.
1. Nature vs. Nurture
o Nature – genes – could influence your whole personality –
o Nurture – all the environments you’re exposed to.
o The answer is both!
2.The Active Child – how do children shape their own development? i. Attention
1. Children pay attention to selective things that helps them learn
the importance of the world
ii. Speech – those cooing sounds
1. When they talk when they’re not being talked to – they’re
iii. Play – when they drop food on the floor for the dog and the baby is happy
1. Learning how to pick up stuff
2. The rate at which stuff falls
3. Noises that they make
3.Continuity/Discontinuity – In what ways is Development Continuous and in what ways is it discontinuous?
i. Continuous – change is very gradual
ii. Discontinuous – associated with stage theories, a kid can be in one stage and could not be in another stage at the same time.
1. You cant be a caterpillar AND a butterfly
2. You are a caterpillar then a chrysalis then a butterfly
Conservation of liquid quantity problem
o Pouring identical amounts of liquid in narrow and wide cups and asking the child if there is more liquid in the narrower cup 4 years old they get the question wrong and 6 years old they get it right advocates for discontinuous.
4.Mechanisms of change How does change occur?
What are the mechanisms that produce remarkable change that children undergo through age and experience?
i. Effortful Attention Ability to focus and pay attention to someone and inhibiting impulses and denying gratification ii. Difficultly in exerting effortful attention is associated with behavioral problems, weak math and reading skills, mental illness…
iii. Marshmallow study
1. The kid had to have some kind of control when they
asked about the marshmallow
5. Sociocultural Context how does Sociocultural Context Influence Development
iv. Physical, social, cultural, economic & historical circumstances that make up child’s environment
v. Ex: In Denmark, the culture is to allow the kids to sleep with the parents for a long time – it’s the opposite in the US
1. As kids in Denmark got older they needed to go to bed with a comfort object.
6. Individual Differences – how do people become so different from one another?
vii. How parents/other treat you
viii. How you react to experiences
ix. Ability to choose your environment
7. Research & Children’s Welfare – How can research promote children’s wellbeing?
x. Fixed Mindset – intelligence and talent is FIXED at birth xi. Growth Mindset intelligence and talent can be developed and grow
1. These kinds of people Persist when you fail
****Specific examples I would know in these themes: schizophrenia example, continuous vs. discontinuous models, marshmallow study, study of fixed belief regarding intelligence
∙ What are some common misconceptions about pregnancy, as discussed in class? o You can’t exercise?
∙ What can a fetus do/experience? What senses does the fetus experience? o Move around
o Hiccup – preparing them for respiratory system
o Swallow – they getting their digestive system ready
o “Breathe” – get oxygen from their mom in the umbilical cord from placenta – gets their lungs developed and getting the respiratory system ready
What does the fetus experience?
o Minimal sight, BUT tactile stimulation
Maybe can see light and dark
Tactile stimulation– related to touch, can touch body, hit the
Fetus’ like sweet flavors
They drink the amniotic fluid and can detect odor
Can detect odor
Comes from mom’s voice and they can recognize it
Here her heartbeat, breathing pattern, stomach growling
Amplified because they’re in the amniotic sac with all the fluid
∙ What are some research studies that show fetal learning (i.e., remember what they’ve been exposed to previously)? Do you understand these studies? ∙ Can you really learn before you’re born?
o Habituation: a decrease in response to repeated or continued stimulation Ex: mom’s voice
∙ Showing a baby a toy to get him to calm down and then the
baby gets bored of it and starts crying again.
∙ What are hazards to prenatal development? What do we call these?
a. Common experience
b. Most occur because fetus isn’t developing normally
∙ Teratogens: environmental agents that have the potential to harm the fetus o These teratogens were given to women with morning sickness and the kids ended up getting birth defects
46th week of pregnancy
If you took it before or after, then the kid didn’t have
Greater exposure you have to something toxic, the more
likely it’ll have an affect – even a greater affect
∙ Thalidomide – marketed to pregnant women to cure nausea and morning sickness
o Those infants were born with phocomelia – malformation of the limbs ∙ Minamata Bay example – Mercury spilled into Minamata Bay, Japan and if the pregnant women ate any fish from there the kid ended up with cerebral palsy.
Legal Drugs: Cigarettes
∙ Correlated w/long list of negative outcomes
∙ Women who were pregnant and smokers vs. non smokers came in ∙ 1220% of women smoke while pregnant
o They get less O2 and baby gets less O2
o Premature birth
o Low birth weight
o Underdeveloped/weak lungs
o Later on: difficulties with attention and hyperactivity
Legal Drugs: Alcohol
∙ How does drinking during pregnancy affect the fetus?
o Immediate behavioral effects
o Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)
o Facial abnormalities
o Intellectual disability
o Behavioral problems – attention, hyperactivity
∙ Group that drinks the most when they’re pregnant – white collegeeducated women!!!!!!!
∙ Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
o Can have problems with hearing, memory, attention span, abilities to communicate
∙ Complex interactions
∙ Cocaine – premature birth, low birth rate, cognitive deficits, attention, born addicted and experience withdrawal
∙ Often drugs are complimented with another drug
o Marijuana + cigar rates.
o Drinking + smoking
o So it’s hard to conduct research
o Slow response to visual skills
o Memory and learning issues
o If you have a baby that’s born to a girl under the age of 15 34tims more likely to die
Being young is a risk factor
o Moms past 35/40 yrs. old – increased risk of miscarriages or birth defects
o Important to get all the nutrients to fetus!
o Craving – usually due to some kind of nutrient that they need
Craving chocolate – really deficient in a nutrient??
o They need folic acid – B vitamin
Neural tube defects – development of brain and spinal cord
could affect the baby if you don’t get it early on.
o Transition of diseases from mom to baby has decreased
o If you get the flu in the first trimester – risk for schizophrenia for the baby later in life
∙ Emotional State
o Stress and overwhelm (cortisol)
Can effect the baby
****Specific examples I would pay attention to and understand: Thalidomide example, Minamata Bay example, effects of smoking on fetus, effects of alcohol on fetus, characteristics of fetal alcohol syndrome, specific maternal factors that impact prenatal development
Genetic & environmental forces:
o What are genotype, phenotype, & environment?
Genotype – genetic material that’s been transmitted from parent to child
Phenotype – observable expression of all that genetic material
∙ Appearance, action, personality…who that person is
Environment – the womb, school, home
Know the basics of genes. What are autosomes vs. sex chromosomes? There are 22 pairs of autosomes with that regular genetic material like height, weight, eye color
There is one sex chromosome
∙ Chromosome 23 which determines your sex
∙ XX female, XY Male
What are regulator genes?
Genes that control the activity of other genes whether they go on or off
∙ EX: if you don’t allow your newborn to see at birth, they
won’t develop regulator genes that turn on an off the light
so they can see.
Do you understand how dominance patterns work? Could you do an example? (For e.g., hair color or sickle cell disorder)
Uppercase letters signify a dominant gene
Lowercase letters signify recessive gene
2 Upper case – Dominant trait expressed. 1 Uppercase + 1
Lowercase – Dominant.
2 Lowercase – recessive
Make sure to thoroughly understand concept of norm of reaction, as well as the two examples we discussed (PKU, MAOA gene)
MAOA gene – inhibits the chemicals associated with aggression ∙ If you’re low in this gene, aggression isn’t being
∙ If someone is low in that gene + exposed to sexual abuse =
very violent behavior > phenotype
PKU – a disorder related to a defective recessive gene on
chromosome 12 that prevents the metabolism of phenylalanine
∙ If you get both genes from your parents and end up eating a
normal diet, you wont be able to metabolize phenylanline
o An amino acid present in red meats and sweeteners
that will result impaired brain development
∙ If you catch it when you’re a baby you can maintain brain
function if you have a phenylalanineless strict diet.
How might a child influence his/her environment?
Child > environment by evoking responses & selfselecting
∙ If the baby does something like poke another baby’s eye –
it evokes a kind of response from the parent like, “no don’t
What is epigenetics?
The study of heritable changes in gene function that don’t involve changing the DNA sequence
∙ Mediated by the environment
∙ Ex: Ex: the Olson twins – identical twins come into the world with the same genetic makeup.
o The young versions of them are the same they do the same things o As they get older they choose they’re on environments and
experiences then the epigenetic markings on DNA have changed during time goes on in their life.
o What are the two assumptions of this field?
Behavior should “run in families”
∙ Concordance rate the presence of the same trait in both
members of a pair of twins
Individuals raised together show be more alike than if they were raised apart
What designs are used, and how do they show if genes or environment are contributing?
o Research Designs
∙ Compares identical vs. same sex fraternal twins
o Identical twins share 100% of their DNA and
Fraternal only 50%
o So if there’s a higher correlation between traits with
identical twins then genetics can have something to
do with it.
∙ Examine whether adopted children’s score on a test
correlated more highly with those of their biological
parents and siblings or their adopted one
∙ If they resemble more of their biological parents’ one then
genetics has something to do with this.
Adoptive Twin study
∙ Identical twins who are raised together in the same house or
o If the concordance rate is high when they were apart
then genetics has to do with it
What does a heritability estimate show? What’s a common misconception here? They tell us nothing about the relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors to the development of the individual
They estimate how much variation there is within a population is due to differences in their genes.
Understand basic structures implicated in brain development
o What are the basic components of a neuron, and what do they do?
o Look up that structure
o Signals go from receiving neuron to the transmitting neuron
o Axon – sends signal down the neuron
o Axon Terminals – has neurotransmitters that have info
o Synapse – space between end of the axon of one neuron and the dendrites of another
o Dendrites – receives the impulse
o Myelin sheath covers the axon and speeds up the reaction
What are the four lobes of the brain, and what are they generally associated with? Cerebral Cortex
o Starts off very smooth and develops fold and ridges in it so it fits a lot of info in the skull and develops prenatally
o Temporal lobe:
Memory, visual recognition & processing of emotion & auditory info
o Occipital Lobe
Processes visual information
o Parietal Lobe
Spatial processing & integrates sensory input w/ info in memory o Frontal Lobe
∙ How you manage yourself and your resources to achieve a
∙ Ability to pay attention, ability to plan and think ahead,
organizing behavior, being able to inhibit impulses
What is cerebral lateralization? Any common misconception related to this? Cerebral Lateralization
o Left Hemisphere– logical side
o Right Hemisphere – intuitive, creative side
o Connection of the two side = corpus callosum
o Contralateral something – left hemisphere effects right side and vice versa.
o Misconception: some people ask if you’re left or right brained but that is not a thing.
Understand major developmental processes in brain
o Key processes: neurogenesis, myelination, synaptogenesis, synaptic pruning
∙ Neurogenesis – When your neurons grow
∙ Myelination: formation of insulating fatty sheath of myelin around some axons o This process keeps occurring after puberty
o So it allows us to develop executive functioning
o Each neuron forms synapses with thousands of other neurons
∙ Synaptic Pruning
o Process where synapses are eliminated excess taken away
o Use it or lose it!
What is synesthesia?
o Blending of different types of sensory input
o This lady can see certain colors when she hears certain sounds o Because of the excess of synapse so the connections are intertwined o Babies have this so they have their senses blended before they grow and then the neurons prune.
What are the two types of plasticity, and how are they different? ∙ Plasticity
o “You use it or you lose it”
o Activated/used = kept
o Non active = pruned
o Your brain can be changed or molded based on experiences that you’re having – adaptive function.
1) General – something that you expect most human to have in common – being a human.
2) Specific – specific life circumstances that influence brain
development and how you see stuff
What’s the difference between experienceexpectant and experiencedependent? ∙ Experienceexpectant
o Role of general human experience in shaping brain development o Experience > brain’s structure
Movement + grabbing objects
o When the baby doesn’t get these things and they don’t for ex. The kids has cataracts, then the brain will have reorganized itself and the child could end up blind because they can’t see to develop vision – and expected trait. o If you lose one sense you can have heightened other experiences.
∙ Experience – dependent
o Role of idiosyncratic experience in shaping brain development o Dependent on the specific life experience that you have
EX: Non musicians vs. people who use the violin/cello and found that they have much more growth in the left hand and right hand
like coordination in violin and cellists
When’s the “best” time to suffer brain damage?
o As a child because you are more likely to make new connections in your brain because it is still in the development stages.
∙ What are some reflexes that infants are born with? How are reflexes adaptive?
o Reflexes innate, fixed patterns of action that occur in response to particular stimulation
Withdrawal from a painful stimulus adaptive
Grasping – closing fingers around anything that presses their palm Rooting – when stroked on the cheek near their mouth, they turn their head in the direction of the touch
Sucking – when there is oral contact with the nipple
Swallowing – followed by sucking reflex, increases chance of
∙ Prereaching movements – When the baby reaches for it
but cannot actually obtain the object
∙ Successful reaching
∙ Sitting = even better reaching
o Crawling – start at 8 months
o Walking – get good at walking from practice
o Visual Cliff
When a baby encounters something new, they look to a bigger
figure to figure out what to do – looking to their mom when they
see a visual cliff to see if they should cross it or not
Social referencing ^
∙ Look at mom – she looks afraid I feel afraid
o Adolph’s work
When the baby is experienced at sitting he has great depth
perception but when they change his position to crawling he
doesn’t understand it and goes to reach off a thingy and almost
What’s a developmental norm? How can environment influence this? What are norms for crawling and walking?
Developmental norm typical characteristics or patterns
of development at any given age – more like milestones
In china, kids are surrounded by large pillows that don’t allow
them to crawl so they crawl at a later time
Difference between gross motor and fine motor skills
Fine Motor Skills – small movements
∙ Ex: holding a spoon, picking up small objects
Gross motor skills – bigger movements
∙ Ex: rolling over, sitting – uses way more muscles in your
arms and legs
How do we think about motor development (i.e., old vs. new view)? Old – Arnold Gesell and Myrtle McGraw say that infants
development is governed by brain maturation
Current – dynamic systems approach – early motor development results from a confluence of numerous factors that include
∙ Developing neural mechanisms
∙ Perpetual skills,
Understand the following concepts that we discussed and/or watched in class: stepping reflex, infants w/ Velcromittens study, visual cliff, Adolph’s work
Mittens study – babies wear mittens with Velcro on them and they can attach to toys so that they can move the toy around which
helps them develop independent motor skills.
Other studies are mentioned above.
o What is habituation?
Ex: when kids Respond less to previously experienced stimuli and more to novel stimuli – stimuli that you’ve been exposed to before
What’s perceptual learning? Know differentiation vs. affordances ∙ Perceptual Learning
How do I figure out what elements are similar/different in my
EX: pic of cat, dog, horse – they say “doggy” – they haven’t
learned to differentiate yet
What quality of an object lets you use it/not use it in a certain way EX: the chair I have affords me the ability to sit in it because its big/cushioned
What is statistical learning?
Infants can detect statistically predictable patterns
∙ Get out, take a shower, say goodnight, they know its
What is classical conditioning? Could you do an example?
Classical Conditioning: unconditioned stimulus and response
∙ Dogs begin salivating in the presence of researcher instead of the
food because the researcher brought out food every time they
What is operant conditioning? Know positive/negative reinforcement and positive/negative punishment. Could you do an example?
o Operant conditioning
Contingency relation: relation between one’s behavior and the
consequences that result
∙ Positive reinforcement something has been added or
given to you
∙ Negative reinforcement – when something has been taken
∙ (Punishment and rewards) related to conscious
What is observational learning?
∙ Imitation of novel actions
∙ Analyze the reason for action
∙ Don’t do this w/inanimate objects
∙ Mirror neurons – respond as if you are doing the
behaviors that someone else is experience
What is rational learning?
Use of prior experiences to predict what happens next
∙ Violation of expectation – they show surprise when
something violates their expectations based on their facial
expressions, eye gaze (how long they look), physical
indicators – heart rate
What is the difference between sensation and perception?
Sensation – taking in sensory information
Perception – organize and interpret that information.
What two techniques do researchers use in infant perception research?
How can we study what a baby perceives?
Showing the baby an image over and over again and they get
habituated and get disinterested
o Preferential looking technique
Bib sitting on adults lap and give them 2 screens (one on the left and one on the right) (barney vs. teletubby)
Which one do they prefer to look at
∙ They can tell the different
∙ Have a preference for one.
What is visual acuity? What accounts for poor vision? When do infants develop visual scanning vs. tracking?
o Visual acuity – the sharpness of visual discrimination
o They have poor vision
o Poor visual acuity – ability to see clearly
Cant really see until 6 months old
They rely on tone of voice, smell etc.
o Poor contrast sensitivity – can you tell the difference between an object in the foreground vs. background
o Poor color vision
o Vision tests
Different patterned paddles and see which they prefer to look at ∙ They like looking at patterns…say black and white
∙ To test their contrast sensitivity they decrease the size of
the stripes until baby cant tell the difference between the
o Scanning vs. Tracking
How does a baby gather info?
∙ Scanning – the world for info
o 1 month old – scans less
o 2 month old –scans more, sees more details
∙ Tracking – doesn’t develop until 2 or 3 months
o Ability to follow and object with your eyes
*Understand facial discrimination study involving human faces and monkey faces w/ infants and adults
Study with 6month olds, 9 month olds, and adults
∙ Could they recognize human faces – they could have!
o Put human faces up and ask them if they’re familiar with those people ∙ The babies were the only ones that were able to say they didn’t see the monkey face b4 in their life.
∙ Synaptic pruning **
What is auditory localization?
A person’s ability to identify where a sound is coming from and how far away it is
What can a baby hear?
∙ Auditory system is fairly well developed at birth!!!
∙ Auditory localization – can u tell where sound is coming from. ∙ More sensitive to musical changes than adults
∙ Perceptual narrowing – Things have been narrowed to adults as their life goes on so they pick up on less
What do infants taste, smell, and touch? What taste do they prefer? Sensitivity to tastes and small develops before birth
Oral exploration > manual exploration
What is intermodal perception? Do you understand two study examples used? Intermodal perception
Combining of information from two or more senses
∙ Clapping your hands loudly
o You see me to that but you’ll also hear I
∙ Babies have this ability earlier in the development
Understand the three main studies discussed: violation of expectation study, study related to understanding gravity, study related to person’s intention when reaching for object
What does a baby know about objects?
Infants can mentally represent and think about the existence of objects that are out of sight
∙ Use two hands to grab big objects vs. small
Violation of Expectancy
Infants as young as 3 and ½ month of age look longer at an “impossible” event ∙ Babies can recognize impossible events (the toy hiding behind the wall) o They experience increased attention and heart rate to indicate that they notice the situation is abnormal.
Does a baby understand your intentions?
When a baby sees a lady point to one object consistently and then she points to a diff object all of a sudden, then they’re attention is caught because they thought they knew of the lady’s intentions.